Credit card scammer swindled thousands from local hotels

Galway daily news Gardaí and Bank of Ireland warn of new bank card scam

Two local hotels had thousands of euro stolen from them by a young man running a credit card scam to allegedly feed a gambling addiction.

Kelvin Olayemi (22) pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to 19 counts of theft from the Maldron and and G Hotels using a credit card scam, and two counts of theft from a housemate.

Mr Olayemi, of 12 The Grove, Oranhill, Oranmore, had been an employee of the G Hotel in May 2018 working in reception when he began stealing the money that customers were using to pay for their rooms.

The court heard that when customers paid for their stay in cash Mr Olayemi would pocket the money himself, and cover the cost of the room with the credit card details of another person on file at the hotel, or using others illegally in his possession.

It first came to the attention of management at the G Hotel when they were contacted by customers about discrepancies in their credit card bill.

When more complaints started arriving hotel management checked each of the suspect charges, and each time Mr Olayemi was on reception.

There were a total of five counts of theft from the G Hotel between May 21 – 28, 2018 coming to a total of €1,712.77.

At this point the hotel contacted the gardaí who opened an investigation into the thefts.

During the internal investigation into the discrepancies at the G Hotel, and before being arrested, Mr Olayemi quit and found another job at the Maldron Hotel in where he continued to operate in a similar manner.

At the Maldron, from June 21 – July 5, he racked up another 14 counts of theft, taking a total of €2,788.10 that the hotel was on the line for.

After suspicions were raised there, management looking into the issue contacted Garda Kelly who added this to his investigation.

Shortly afterwards the Garda went to the defendant’s mother’s house to speak with him, but he was out of the country at the time.

On August 3, 2018 Kelvin Olayemi presented himself at Galway Garda Station where he was arrested.

The court heard that he was fully cooperative during this, and freely admitted to what he had done.

Garda Kelly confirmed to the court that none of the individuals whose credit cards were used suffered any financial loss, they were all refunded by the bank and the hotels took the hit.

The garda said that when questioned Mr Olayemi admitted that he had also bought a large number of credit details from another employee at a different business which were used in this scam.

According to Garda Kelly, due to the sheer number of incidents that took place in a short period, “stuff was still coming in at the time of his arrest”.

When questioning Mr Olayemi about the fraudulent charges “we asked him would more come in and he said they probably would”.

Some time later Olayemi was cautioned a second time when more information became available from credit card companies.

Judge Mary Fahy said that this was a “Total breach of trust” for a person handling people’s sensitive financial details.

An additional two charges of theft were being investigated by Garda John Kerrigan where Kelvin Olayemi stole the personal information of someone he was living with in February 2018 and used that two open two online gambling accounts.

He made two transfers from that person’s bank account for €350 and €250 to the online gambling site, €350 of which was later refunded to the victim by the bank.

Mr Olayemi stole this money to feed a gambling addiction that he had developed according to solicitor for the defence Olivia Traynor.

She added that this had a serious impact on his relationship with his family, and that his father won’t speak to him anymore.

A total of €5,300 was presented to the court to compensate for the losses endured a result of Mr Olayemi’s actions.

The case was put back to December 4 for sentencing.